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Govt recasts essentials’ price monitoring teams

Drive to kick off on Jan 01

FE Report | December 27, 2017 00:00:00

The government has reconstituted 14 teams that will monitor the price movements and prevent abnormal situation in the city markets, officials said.

But the drives carried out by the monitoring teams earlier could not make any visible impact on the market, sources concerned said.

The government intends to closely monitor the price situation with a view to keeping the prices of essentials within the buying capacity of the common people, a high official of the ministry of commerce said.

The reconstituted watchdog panels will inspect the wholesale and retail prices of essentials in the Dhaka city. The teams were formed on Sunday last.

They will also collect price data and gather information on stock and supply of essentials during their drives.

If any kind of abnormal situation arises in the market, the teams will take action by punishing the traders or the businesspeople concerned through on-the-spot mobile courts.

The teams will also take stringent action against the manipulators using the existing legal provisions of the country to ensure normal prices of essential items.

A total of 14 teams have already formed, each consisting of eleven members drawn from different ministries, government agencies and business associations, according to the ministry of commerce (MoC) information.

The teams also comprise of representatives from the ministries of commerce, agriculture, home and food, and the Bangladesh Tariff Commission, Dhaka City Corporation, the district administration of Dhaka, Dhaka Metropolitan Police, Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection and the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI).

The teams formed for the Dhaka city markets will start their drives on January 01 next. The drives will continue until June next.

MoC additional Secretary Pranesh Ranjan Sutradhar is the coordinator of the market monitoring teams.

The members of the teams will have to report to the MoC at 9.15 am every day, according to a market monitoring plan.

Prices of key essential items often show a significant rise in the country.

But the monitoring teams failed to play the proper role in keeping the prices of essentials stable and at a tolerable level, experts said.

No visible impact was noticed with regard to prices of some key items, especially rice and onion, in recent times despite efforts by the monitoring teams, they said.

"We often sit to evaluate the activities of the teams monitoring the prices of essential items in the capital city. We direct the teams to be more careful about their respective duties and activities throughout the year," a senior official of the commerce ministry told the FE on Tuesday.

The prices of essential commodities remain stable due to steps taken by the government, he claimed.

However, he admitted that the prices of one or two items might go up for the time being due to natural calamity especially flood or heavy rain in the country.

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